The Corner

A Balanced Approach?

I know this isn’t a stunning or novel insight but I can’t quite understand why it’s not more of a talking point. Obama’s argument for the last two or so years (including during a presidential campaign that he won and which he says gave him a mandate) was: We can’t reduce the deficit simply by cutting spending alone. We need a balanced approach. The millionaires and billionaires (starting at $200K for singles and $250 for married couples, in the fine print) have to pay their fair share. And that fair share would be paid by restoring the Clinton era tax rates on the wealthy. Once they pay their fair share, we can talk about spending cuts. He said this implicitly and explicitly umpteentillion times. 

So, fast forward to the fiscal cliff deal. He got the tax hikes on millionaires and billionaires (albeit starting at $400K for singles and $450 for married couples). He also got a hike in the payroll tax and some other goodies on the revenue side. And, he’s still saying “we need a balanced approach.” As if the revenue side of the scales still has no weights on it. 

Obama made a tit-for-tat argument. The Republicans conceded the tit, but Obama won’t even discuss the tat. He just wants evermore tit. (Get your minds out of the gutter, people.)

It seems like such an obvious, easy, point for the GOP to hammer him with and such an obvious question for the White House press to focus on. 


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